I have this to-do list of things we need to finish and fix before releasing a version for public testing. I’m happy to say we have knocked out a lot of the list in the past few weeks!
We have a launcher underway – this will allow users to automatically update the game and read news. Alpha testers have been manually installing versions. We also have multi-platform installer software- shout out to Bitrock software for assistance!
We’ve done some 3D world work! Most excitingly is in the next update- you will no longer push a button to generate a wild horse. This was for testing horse generation- and still filtering through all the successes and sillies. This feature has had the heavy lifting done- I just need to go clean up some things, And I need to make decisions so I thought it would be good to ask for your opinion.
About catching a wild horse:
You take one of your horses and explore the large procedurally generated world- and its many biomes
Each biome(zone) has possibilities of different wild horses spawning. They will try to be thematically correct, for example you will likely find Arabians in desert and mustangs in scrub.
You will encounter the wild horses out here- and you can click on them to see their information panel- However the information will be limited. How limited? Well that is what I wanted to discuss (scroll down for survey)!
You can chose then to catch the horse to add it to your stable, or simply ride on and continue exploring. Players will have a limited amount of catches- so it is worth while to hunt for your desired horse. Free wild horses for new accounts will not be able to transfer these horses out of their ranch.
Your own horses will be at your ranch, and you can go there to click and change horses. I am also working on a mechanism where horses get fatigued as you ride out- and will eventually tire and need to return to the ranch. This makes some distant regions harder to reach- and thus some horses will be more difficult to acquire by catching. Your ranch is only a meadow now- we intend to add ranch building as a later feature.
Okay- here’s what I wanted feedback on!
So sorry about lack of communication here. I’m often bad at keeping any form of social media updated, I’ll get back on the ball here now. First off- there were some questions in the comments that I’d like to answer publicly as others might have the same questions. I just discovered my spam filter was filtering out too much- very sorry about that. Your comments are now visible to the public and responding to them.
When will the game be released publicly?
I really hope August is the month for Beta. Both programmers on this game (myself and John) are working full time jobs right now. Our status should change soon! I have gotten event running to work and added more features/options- will likely distribute a new client to alpha testers pre-beta. 3D world is coming along, horses are starting to behave according to their stats. Going to do the 3d world for viewing and catching wild horses- yay!
Is the game available now on an ipad/tablet?
For early access, you can play on a mac computer or a PC computer- sorry, no tablet versions right now. We don’t have the resources to keep the app stores updated with every new release (While google play makes things simple and free, Apple does not). We will test locally on our devices and hope to have some sort of testing environment for Beta.
If I buy a package on the goal store, I can access the game now?
Yes, anything $15 and above gets you in. I send you an email with instructions, then once you create an account I will set it up with orbs (tokens/special purchases) and a subscription. You will get all this again on official launch.
Can we do a new video?
Yes! I plan on doing two videos very soon- for Steam Greenlight and for a general update. I won’t be able to do an entire scripted scene like the foal being born- we’ve exceeded our animation budget 😉 Don’t worry- there will be plenty of horses moving around doing cool things. Also will show more about the game and core game play.
We can’t wait to get the game out in to beta status. I often find myself playing when I should be developing! Thank you everyone for your enthusiasm. I will be posting more updates next week with pictures, and hope to have that new video update very soon.
Hello all, thanks again everyone for your support!
I’m providing a step by step guide to Early Access here:
1. Once you purchase a package that includes early access (any purchase $15 and up) you will get an email titled: “VHR3D Alpha Test-Early Access”. If you do not receive this email with in an hour after purchase, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include the email you purchased with. Included in this new email we send you are some more precise instructions below my personalized text.
- 2. Follow the instructions on the email and download the link provided- if you need a mac app- reply. I ask for this so I can track who is who and make sure things are working (so far, mac app has been working, yay!)
- 3. Once downloaded and unzipped, launch the .exe file that was named in the email
- 4. Configure the settings to your choosing- so far we just have resolution but keybindings will arrive soon.
- 5. The game will prompt you to sign up, sign up- with the email that you purchased your package with, if you pick a different email let me know.
- 6. Once logged in, you will be seen and if you are not contacted in chat- please wait up to 12 hours for your full package of orbs to “test with” and a subscription so you can breed horses.
- Meanwhile – you can generate up to 50 wild horses and have some fun exploring the game!
This week will be the last week the Goal Store offers the Early Access Package for $15 (includes 15 orbs to play with and a 3 month subscription). Any other package or purchase above $15 will include Early Access as well. You will get an email shortly after purchase and can immediately start playing…. just keep in mind it is under construction 😉 You will be able to sneak in before Beta if you purchase other packages after this week- we are just closing the Early Access Package. Why? So you get your full value and don’t purchase a day (for example) before Beta Release
We will then be hunkering down on development for the few weeks (hopefully) to wrap up rough edges like event running and the 3D World. See our development plan here. Some of this is already underway- and a new client will soon needed to be downloaded. Hopefully we have the launcher up and running next update, and from then on the game will auto update when you start it up. I hope to have a public beta up with in a month.
Each $ right now helps us get the game out significantly faster and better! So not only do you get to play right away, but we get to continue working on it right away. Win Win Hurrah!
I play too! Here’s a horse I bred!
Thank you so much everyone! I appreciate all the support we can get whether it be telling your friends or joining us for Early Access.
Again, input has been amazing and we have been able to get more work done in the past few days. Alpha Testers/Early Access people should receive an email with further instructions.
Here’s a list of the newest fixes/additions:
- You can release horses, and they will now retire at age 30.
- Many UI fixes- Going between stables, pastures, and search etc.. should be smoother and bring you to the first panel. Closing a horse on search should no longer bring you back to start of list.
- You shouldn’t have to relog to see new horses purchased in your stable/pasture.
- Horse search for horses for sale has been fixed. Horse search now brings up 50 results. Still not much now- I suggest narrowing search down. Forgot to remove studs that were too young, so if searching for studs, you can put age 3 as minimum.
- You can no longer see unborn foals by looking at offspring.
- New foal stats have been reworked. It will take many generations and hard training to get them with significant higher base stats. Foals will only receive bonus in stats if one or both the parents were trained (the green #) to at least 25% of their base stat (the white#).
- Arab x Saddlebred, Arab X NSH, and Saddlebred x NSH should now result in a National Show Horse foal.
I hope this to be the last update for a few days- unless we need to put in some critical fixes. The next update will be working on Events, and the 3D world additions.
My To Do list for upcoming updates:
- Event running, UI rework to big panel, event testing begins.
- Music & sound underway
- 3D world- horses not being have natural & idle behaviors. Horses perform based on stats, click to change horses/open panel. Change riding speed/spacebar to jump. Horses only load at ranch zone & wild horses found in world elsewhere. Horses get tired based on activity & endurance.
- Ranch Panel updated w/ features like naming Ranch & lookin perty.
- Ranch Zone- equipped with barn, fences, jumps etc.. (objects currently under construction)
- Private Breeds/Colors
- Clubs fully functional
- Double the amount of markings & patterns for beta.
- —Beta Begins—
- Marketplace world – ride with other players & share/trade horses.
- Get funding for Human Avatar & animations, tack, & implementation.
Added a number of fixes for this release for Alpha/Early Access Testers. You will need to check your email again and delete old game, and download new one to get the fixes. Sorry about the inconvenience- we will have a launcher soon that will do this for you automatically.
- Fixed Foalzillas (supersized foals)
- Taking turns should now work again- sorry about that, I broke it.
- Several marketplace fixes- results show up properly when no matches (well empty page shows up)
- You can now stud & buy/sell animals with each other. Keep it cheap- not much of an economy yet and receiving money will not work until later this evening.
- Foals should no longer be born if mom is in pasture.
- New foals should be less strong a bit in base stats- this has yet to be really tested when parents are trained highly.
- Some genetic & color name fixes.
- Several other minor fixes & improvements.
New fixes for alpha testers- Instructions have been emailed to you:
“Brown horses only” that happened to some users should be fixed.
Enhanced search features – search by horse ID# or player ID# and horse ID# is displayed on horse or player panel. Was currently in the middle of this- still more to go here.
Shaders for horses- no longer self illuminated and lighting works on them now.
Hoped to have Marketplace going… buying and selling horses still not in yet.
Mac client available to test – sorry about wrong link in email- add a .zip to end of url from email, but it does not seem to be working.
FJORD MANE FIXED WOO HOO … but manes still work to go as it has changed with the new shaders.
Foals should no longer be born if mare is in pasture (untested)
New foals have bit of nerf (untested)
Note- Foals are Gigantic/patternless in panel at moment- this has been fixed on our end and you can redownload game later to get this fix. I will post here when it has been updated.
Thank you everyone who has been able to come and test the game with us. I am enjoying talking and getting feedback, ideas, and making a list of things to fix. You are finding things that have gone unnoticed, that is why it is always good to have other eyes on things! Also, some wonderful ideas have been suggested.
I hope to keep up this version until tomorrow, and then we will need to make some fixes and give everyone an updated client (copy of game).
Some issues I am able to fix with out disruption- like the Fjord manes not coming through – which have for some odd reason been the bane of our asset bundles.
Also- I am trying to track down someone who purchased a package yesterday from Singapore- their email has been bouncing back. Please email me at email@example.com so we can get you started- thank you!!
We are embarking on a test today, hurrah! Fans who have purchased items or early access on our goal store should receive an email with instructions on how to get started. This test will be for Windows PC only. We currently do not have a launcher built yet, so you will have to download a client for this test that should be deleted once it is outdated. Please keep in mind that this game is a bit rough around the edges right now as we are in middle of building it- and we are working as hard as we can on it.
Initial Test Notes
- You can generate horses (Click Ranch- then click “Catch horse”), breed, train, take turns, and we hope that some events get created and filled so we can begin testing event code.
- When signing up – please be very careful when entering your password and save it somewhere safe! We do not have a way to reset lost passwords at the moment.
- The 3D world (“Go Riding” Button) is not close to any kind of completion. All you can do in it now is explore the world and see your horses in each map- in slow motion trot.
- Stash all horses you do not want in your pasture- they will not be loaded in the 3D world and can help manage performance when in the 3D world. We do not have a way to retire the horses yet, so that’s the best way to manage your ranch if you have a lot of horses.
- I will be in the in-game chat as much as possible to get feedback & answer questions. My Chat nick is Nefertete, click the name on the chat element if you wish to ask me something private.
- Sound & music is currently in development.
- If you are not in the 3D world, I apologize for the white background- background done and almost in, one of the first things I will do.
- Data, like your horses and your accounts should not be reset, but there is a slim possibility that it might have to be done.
Further Instructions will be emailed to you on the email you purchased an item from the goal store with. If you can not receive this email – please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your old email or name, and let me know what your new email is- thank you!
If you missed it- you can catch the majority of it here http://www.twitch.tv/orbisgames/v/30840177
(Thanks to feedback- the clicking sound goes away soon)
We will definitely do that again soon and throughout the stages of development. Thank you everyone for attending and all of your good questions. Loved the community and support!